MuseScore 3.5 Alpha

• May 6, 2020 - 16:20

Today we are announcing an alpha release of what will soon become MuseScore 3.5. Although MuseScore 3.5 is considered a "minor" release, it contains an unusually long list of new features, bug fixes, and other improvements, and we expect that it will set a new standard for stability and usability.

We hope many of you will download and help us test this alpha version. This is especially true of the more significant new features such as chord symbol playback. We anticipate having a beta release in a couple of weeks, and then the actual release after that. You can install the 3.5 alpha version alongside the stable 3.4.2 version.

Download MuseScore 3.5 Alpha Release

Windows 64-bit Windows 32-bit macOS 10.10 or higher Linux AppImage
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MuseScore 3.5 Alpha announcement

Chord Symbol Playback

One of the most requested features for many years has been playback of chord symbols. Peter Hieu Vu implemented this as part of the Google Summer of Code last year, and with the help of Dmitri Ovodok and new team member Igor Korsukov, this facility is now available in MuseScore 3.5. For now, it is disabled by default. To hear playback of chord symbols, go to Edit > Preferences > Note Input and enable the Play Chord Symbols option. There is also an option there to control whether chord symbols are played while editing them, and additional style settings and properties you can set in the Inspector to control how the chord symbols are played.


Another Google Summer of Code project that has been incorporated into MuseScore 3.5 is a series of improvements to how you work with instruments. Much of this work was originally done by Josh Wood and was then adapted by the core MuseScore team. Upon adding an instrument change text from the palette, MuseScore will automatically display the dialog to allow you to select the new instrument, and it will automatically update the instrument name accordingly. MuseScore will also add a clef and key signature change if appropriate; these will be deleted automatically if you remove the instrument change.

In addition to these improvements, we've made it easier to control the display of instrument names, with double-click automatically opening the Staff/Part Properties dialog, and provide better control over the display of instrument names and brackets when hiding empty staves. Similar instruments are also numbered automatically when creating a new score, and there are improvements to the Instruments dialog to make it easier to control the position of newly added instruments.

Voices to Parts

One of the new features in MuseScore 3 was the ability to generate parts from individual voices on a staff, allowing you to combine multiple flutes or clarinets (for example) on a single staff. Unfortunately, a number of serious bugs in this feature prevented it from actually being usable. New contributor Niek van den Berg has made it a priority to get this working, and we're happy to report that MuseScore 3.5 has much improved support for this feature. To generate parts from a single voice of a staff, go to File > Parts, press the Single Part button, select the instrument, press the "+" button, and select the voice you wish to use. Repeat this process for the other voice(s) you wish to use. For the alpha release, support for editing the part after generation is still limited, so we recommend waiting until basic score input is completed.

Simplified Editing of Lines

When you want to change the duration of a crescendo or diminuendo, most users instinctively try to drag the handles. But this never actually did what you would expect—it just altered the length of the line without changing which note it was logically attached to. You needed to use Shift plus the cursor keys to actually change the duration. Martin Keary/Tantacrul, MuseScore’s Head of Design, pushed for us to improve this, and now we have. In MuseScore 3.5, dragging the end handles of hairpins and other lines will change their actual durations. There are other improvements to the behavior of editing lines as well, but since one of the goals was to make the process more discoverable, we'd like you to try things out and see for yourself!

Tremolo Layout

New contributor Howard Chang has made some really nice improvements to the layout of tremolos, meaning you will need to do a lot less manual adjustments. However, this also means if you’ve made careful adjustments for tremolos in previous versions, they now need a reset. MuseScore 3.5 will also support the "beamed half note" style of minim-based two-note tremolo commonly used in older piano and orchestral music. You can select this style in the Inspector.

Enharmonic Transposition

Howard also implemented a long-requested feature allowing you to specify—in Staff/Part Properties for an instrument—whether transposition should prefer flats or sharps in the key signature. So saxophonists who prefer seeing Db major over C# major when transposing from B major concert will be happy!

Piano Roll Editor

Mark McKay, who implemented a bunch of piano roll improvements a few releases ago, has implemented many more for 3.5, including tools to make it easier to edit notes (adding and erasing, cut and paste, dragging groups of notes, adjusting ties), keyboard shortcuts for zooming, a way to highlight individual rows in the note area, and enhancements to the levels window to make it possible to set levels for multiple notes at a time.

Measure and Multimeasure Rest Numbers

Measure numbers now support a number of new features, including the ability to display centered under the measures. Multimeasure rests can also be customized further. The relevant settings can be found in the Inspector and in Format > Style.


We continue to make advances in the accessibility of MuseScore, both with respect to keyboard navigation and screenreader feedback. In MuseScore 3.5, the navigation of the palettes is improved dramatically, and screenreader feedback is improved for a number of elements. We also can now support the Orca screenreader on Linux, and improvements to MusicXML export will facilitate conversion to Braille music.


  • New smooth scrolling option for playback in continuous view
  • Double-click a header or footer to access the dialog for editing it
  • Ability to set notehead scheme (e.g., named noteheads) for individual notes
  • JACK audio/MIDI support working on all platforms
  • Store backup files in a separate folder
  • Improvements to the wording and appearance of various UI elements
  • New splash screen with progress messages
  • Fixes for a variety of crashes, score corruptions, and other bugs
  • There are many, many more improvements for you to explore in the Release Notes

Known issues

Alpha is a pre-release. Its purpose is to catch as many bugs as possible. The list of known issues is available here.


What about Issue #289898: Cresc./dim. are ignored for tremolos? I was told it would be fixed in this version, but it is not listed in the release notes.

In reply to by BoldAndBrass

ChromeOS itself has issues right now, version 81 broke some things. So far I've learned the following from my discussions with the folks at Google:

  • disable crostini-gpu-support in chrome://flags to avoid the black screen
  • install the AppImage by running it with the "install" option to avoid the worst of the system crashes

There are still other glitches due to other ChromeOS bugs, but if you do these two things, MuseScore does work.

In reply to by elsewhere

That too has translated channel names (and 2 of them), just not into German or Dutch, but into en_US or en_GB):

          <program value="0"/>
        <Channel name="Chord syms.">
          <program value="0"/>
        <Channel name="Chord syms.">
          <program value="0"/>

Needs to be "Chord symbols", and only one of them.

I took a peek at the release notes... Wow, that is a lot of fixes/improvements! A total of 273 if I counted correctly!

Thank you for all your tireless hard work!

This is the best scoring software I've seen! I'm a 10 years finale user that switched to musescore with only one day using the 3.5 Alpha.
If we could have control on the thickness of the glissando lines, it would awesome.

Hello everyone!

I don't know if it's happening to anyone however, this version 3.5 is crashing on my computer, leaving the screen "frozen".
My Windows 10 latest version.
In this sense, I had to migrate again to version 3.4.2.
Thank you!

In reply to by jeetee

Good morning (in Brazil) friend Jeetee!
They were several times and on different occasions and different files. Finally, when I clicked on the shortcut "Ctrl T" to insert the degrees of the chords above the cipher and change the color of these characters.
It is finished because I used version 3.4.2.
He was preparing teaching materials.

Attached file...

Have a great day!

Attachment Size
AThousand Years .mscz 18.07 KB

In reply to by mjbartemusica1

There are many odd choices in that document, but I've tried adding staff text to it in several places and none crashed the alpha..

To be able to fix a crash we need a set of actions to make it crash consistently. So far the only crash I'm aware of with the alpha is closing preferences if no score is open; and that one has been fixed in development by now.
So if you have a reliable set of instructions that we can follow on that score to make it crash, please share them.

As for the score: instead of using 1 very long, spaces aligned staff text per system for RNA; you might want to use the actual RNA feature, available since MuseScore 3.3 ( It'll make entering and beat-aligning of these things much easier.

I also see that many notes are indicated as being outside of the usual basic playing area of the chosen instrument. And indeed, your instrument is set to cello, but using notes in the (very) high range for that instrument.
Consider notating for the actual instrument it should be played on. If you then wish to use the violoncello playback sound, you can still assign that using the mixer (

Thanks this substantial update. Looks great. Am not seeing instrument change dialog when adding that text on Mac? Should it pop up as soon as I add text?

In reply to by therestisnoise

Ah, Upon adding an instrument change text from the palette, MuseScore will automatically display the dialog to allow you to select the new instrument
In that case I'm not sure how it is supposed to work. Maybe using the instrument change text from the text palette behaves different form Add > Text > Instrument Change

Wow chord-playback! very nice!
One question though: is it possible to have the chord playback and the instrument play different sounds? I'm making lead sheets and would like the chords to play as a piano sound and the melodie as voices or a flute/sax or something else.
Very nice work!

Win 10. 3.5 alpha crashed several times after fast switching between Palettes and Selection Filter.
After restart the Selection Filter was the sixth row in the column of the contextual menu.
(Default position on my machine is the seventh.) The sixth position remained after restart of MuseScore.
After another fast switching, now without crash, the row positions changed again.
The Selection Filter has also occupied the eight row. But only once and without crash.

In reply to by dg189149

Best to start a new thread devoted to that topic (pleas,e if you want the suggestion to be considered, don't let it get lost by continuing the discussion here), and describe in more detail what you are looking for beyond simply adding that text, which certainly is easy enough (Ctrl+T).

All these new features are fantastic!! however, regarding the chord symbols, I've noticed that when I play my score, it sustains all the chord changes, and doesn't stop playing them when the slash(es) aren't there anymore. Is there a way to disable this?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I've attached a picture of the chord progression. What was happening was Musescore would play the F6 chord on the first slash, and then not sustain it (without playing chords on the other slashes) until the Abo chord, where it would do the same thing. Jojo's Answer fixes the first problem, but would there be a way to have musescore play the same chord on the slashes that come after it (with no chord symbol)?

Attachment Size
chord.PNG 26.68 KB

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